The editor of the Daily Star, Dawn Neesom yesterday faced a ‘grilling’ for her ‘anti-Islam coverage’ whilst in a hearing at the Leveson Inquiry, Islamophobia Watch has reported.
Neesom was questioned on the overall stance of the paper towards Islam and Muslims, and was also confronted with specific headlines which carried an anti-Muslim tone. When asked if there was an anti-Islamic agenda at the Daily Star, she replied, “No, not at all”.
From Islamophobia Watch:
“The editor of the Daily Star endured a bruising encounter at the Leveson inquiry today, facing sustained questioning over her newspaper's coverage of Muslims.
“Counsel Robert Jay repeatedly showed Dawn Neesom front pages of her newspaper and asked if she considered them "ethical". "A journalist might feel the headlines we've been looking at stray way over the line of what's ethical," he said.
“Mr Jay showed one front page featuring the headline: "Muslim thugs aged just 12 in knife attack on Brit school boy." He branded the language "tendentious", pointing out that the victim was described as "British", but the perpetrators, who were also British, were described as "Muslim". He also pointed out that the 'attack' actually referred to a comment on Facebook.
“"It's not good," Ms Neesom admitted. She promised to pursue the issue "back in the office".
Asked repeatedly to demonstrate examples of positive coverage of Muslims, Ms Neesom could provide only one example – a story about a Muslim man who lost his son during the August riots and called on the community not to take revenge.
“Ms Neesom promised to provide the inquiry with other examples of positive coverage. "We'll see what you provide," Mr Jay replied.”
Writing in the Guardian, the former Daily Star reporter, Richard Peppiatt, who quit over what he described as the paper’s anti-Muslim agenda, commented:
“She used the death of three Muslim brothers in Birmingham during last summer's riots ("Heroes" bellowed the headline) as an example of the paper's unheralded egalitarianism. Memo to Neesom: Nowhere in the article is there a mention the men were Muslims. A subbing error, no doubt.”
You can read the full text of the hearing here.
Read the ENGAGE submission to the Leveson Inquiry here.
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